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  5. Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy: Easwaran stars for Bengal vs Mizoram, Pandey 74 gives Karnataka win over Assam

Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy: Easwaran stars for Bengal vs Mizoram, Pandey 74 gives Karnataka win over Assam

Bengal defeated Mizoram by 159 runs while Karnataka got the better of Assam by 15 runs in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy on Thursday.

New Delhi Published on: February 21, 2019 20:23 IST
Abhimanyu Easwaran

File photo of Abhimanyu Easwaran

Youngster Abhimanyu Easwaran cracked his maiden Twenty20 century to continue his sublime form as former champions Bengal secured a record 159-run win over Mizoram in their opening Group D fixture of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy on Thursday.
The 23-year-old smashed five sixes and eight fours en route to his 56-ball 107 as Bengal piled 221/4 after being put in by Mizoram at the Barabati Stadium.
Abhimanyu's effort was brilliantly complemented by Royal Challengers Bangalore-recruit Prayas Ray Barman as the debutant leg-spinner claimed 4/14 in his Twenty20 debut while Pradipta Pramanik bagged 3/13 as Mizoram folded for 62 in 13 overs to hand Bengal the biggest margin win of the tournament.
Karnataka held the earlier record -- a 123-run victory over Jharkhand in Kolkata in 2018.
Abhimanyu, who had amassed 861 runs from six first class matches at an average of 95.66, took charge of the proceedings after Vivek Singh (28) departed in the third over. Abhimanyu found an able ally in Shreevats Goswami who struck a quickfire 55 from 33 balls (6x4, 1x6) in their 119 runs stand from 64 balls.
While the win came easy for Bengal, Wriddhiman Saha made just two runs in his comeback match after recovering from a career-threatening shoulder injury that had kept him out for about nine months.
At the DRIEMS Ground in the city outskirts, Manish Pandey struck 74 off 39 balls as Karnataka beat Assam by 15 runs.
Sent in, Karnataka scored 169/6 thanks to the skipper's effort.
In reply, Assam were struggling at 61/5 inside nine overs before Wasiqur Rahman (62 off 41) and Rajjakuddin Ahmed (53 off 34) provided a late fightback with a 63-run stand. But Assam could manage 154/7 in their 20 overs
In Delhi, Karn Kaushal and Girish Rauturi starred with the bat as Uttarakhand defeated Services by three-wicket in a thrilling T20 match.
Chasing 165 to win, Kaushal scored a 32-ball 58 to lay the foundation while Rauturi provided the late charge as Uttarakhand overhauled the target with one ball to spare.
Earlier, Nakul Verma (48) and skipper RS Paliwal (54) powered Services to a competitive 164 after electing to bat first.
Among other matches, Maharashtra, Baroda and Puducherry also made a winning start to their campaign here.
Playing at Palam A Stadium, Maharashtra thrashed Uttar Pradesh by 12 runs.
Asked to take first strike, Maharashtra posted a decent 149-5, riding on some useful contributions by NS Naik (41), NS Shaikh (41) and RD Gaikwad (35).
In reply, Uttar Pradesh folded for 137 allout in 19.3 overs, despite a 61-ball 93 by Samarth Singh. Only skipper AD Nath (10) posted a double figure as rest of the batsmen were dismissed for single score.
In another match, Atit Sheth claimed five wickets to guide Baroda to a eight-wicket win over Tripura.
Electing to bat, Tripura folded for 100 in 19 overs with Sheth returning with figures of 4-0-13-5.
Baroda's top-order fired in unison as they overhaul the target, reaching 101-2 in 16.5 overs.
At Palam B Stadium, Puducherry defeated Hyderabad by three runs, courtesy 48-ball 89 by Paras Dogra.
Dogra blasted seven fours and six sixes in his innings to help Puducherry post 159-6 in 20 overs. 
They then returned to restrict Hyderabad to 156-9 in 20 overs, despite a 51-ball 69 by opener PA Reddy.
Playing at Palam B stadium, Services' left-arm spinner Vikas Yadav returned with incredible figures of 4-0-9-5 but couldn't stop a rampaigning Uttarakhand.
Batting first, Services lost their first wicket in Ravi Chauhan (8) in the fourth over before G Rahul Singh too was set packing in the sixth over as they slipped to 48-2 but opener Nakul held on the other end with a 47-ball 48 to take the team across the 100-mark.
Nakul was cleaned up by Sunny Kashyap in the 16th over. Skipper Paliwal then produced six hits to the fence in his 35-ball unbeaten innings to help Services put a decent score.
In reply, Uttarakhand had a flying start as captain R Bhatia (20) and Kaushal shared a solid 72-run opening stand in 7.4 overs.
However, Yadav soon rocked the top and middle order with his left-arm spin bowling, dismissing Kaushal, VS Panwar (5), SA Rawat (3), Bhatia and Vijay Sharma (3) to reduce Uttarakhand to 100-5 in 13.1 overs.
Girish then took the onus on himself and blasted five sixes and two fours in his 27-ball 49 whirlwind innings to take them on the brink of victory. He was runout in the last over.

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